Vaughan-Bassett: Born, Made, Stayed
The story behind Vaughan-Bassett is not one that can be briefly told, in fact, it took Beth Macy over 400 pages to tell it in Factory Man, her book about the Bassett legacy.
And if you’re not familiar with the story, you can be forgiven for confusing Vaughan-Bassett with Bassett Furniture Industries, because, even though they are now two very distinct and separate companies, they do share a common ancestry and heritage. And it’s complicated.
Game of Thrones has nothing on the succession power-plays and strategic inter-marriages that have led up to where each company is today; in fact, Tom Hanks’s production company Playtone bought the rights to a Factory Man HBO miniseries story shortly after the book’s publication in 2014.
What makes Vaughan-Bassett stand out from the rest is John Bassett III’s early commitment to keep the Vaughan-Bassett factories and products 100% U.S. made.
By “early”, we mean back in the mid-1980’s when so many of the original North Carolina Furniture Families gave in to the competitive pressure of Chinese imports and shifted their manufacturing overseas or cashed out altogether to foreign ownership.
It was back when offshore sourcing was smart business and the closing of domestic factories—and loss of thousands of American jobs— were accepted as the inevitable casualties of the new global economy. Today’s conscious consumerism and the revival of U.S manufacturing has brought companies like Vaughan-Bassett firmly back into the spotlight.
As a designer, here’s what you need to know: Vaughan-Bassett is the largest manufacturer of wooden adult bedroom furniture in the United States. Its sub-brands include Artisan & Post and LMCO, which include some dining pieces as well.
Its furniture is made of wood solids and wood veneers (like pine, oak, maple, cherry, ash, poplar, applewood, birch and beech) that are grown and harvested locally (80% within 200 miles of the factory, 99% within 500 miles). Every tree that’s harvested is replaced with a seedling, and new state-of-the-art “smart” cutting systems are able to squeeze out more usable lumber from every part of the tree.
For clients who value solid construction and classic American design, Vaughan-Bassett, Artisan & Post, and LMCO are excellent brands to have on your short list of sources!
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